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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Seven Must-Ask Questions

Words by Susan Ziggy


Relationships are exciting and as you transition to the engagement stage as a couple or cross off another year in your relationship, there are many things to consider asking your partner.  Have you asked each other the tough, important questions? Below are seven important questions you and your significant other should discuss and agree upon before marriage or even after you’ve already tied the knot:

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  1. How will you deal with your partner’s pre-existing debt? College loans, car loans, child support, liens, credit card debt, etc.
  2. Who will be in charge of what household duties? These include groceries, cleaning, yard work, household maintenance, car maintenance and finances. Be fair and rotate chores if that works best, that way they will always be equal.
  3. Are there potential red flags that need to be discussed prior to the nuptials, such as excessive drinking, flirting or intrusive parents, family members or friends? Be honest and open with your partner if you noticed some potential problems. Deal with them now and determine if you are both willing to compromise.
  4. Is having a date night important to you and your partner, fiancé or spouse? Get into the habit of having one night, without technology, for just the two of you. It may not seem important now, but if you decide to have children it will become very important.
  5. How will you as a couple share ideas, problems and issues fairly? Make sure there is mutual respect for each other’s opinions. Keep this in the back of your mind when arguing over something irrelevant (which is truly the bulk of the arguments).
  6. Do you understand the difference between the way men and women handle situations? It helps to remember that most men are analytical problem solvers and think in black and white. Most women are emotional, intuitive and think in gray. If you understand the way the other thinks, you may understand each other better in the long term.
  7. Are you prepared for unexpected obstacles that will arise in your relationship? Is at least one of you flexible to change? Early on in the relationship you may think you understand your partner and can handle problems like unemployment, job transfer(s), a disability, partner becomes ill, etc. As you both face new situations in your married life, you will discover how little you may know your partner or spouse. Truly knowing and understanding someone comes with time and experience. Stay open to change...again, be flexible.

This is only touching on some of the important issues that need to be addressed. Couples at all stages can benefit from an open and honest conversation discussing the questions above. I have never heard, “I am getting married so I can get divorced down the road.” Yet, it happens. Stay prepared for every relationship scenario by knowing what to expect!

Susan Ziggy has a Master’s Degree in Education and a minor in Psychology, and is the author of What To Do Before You Say “I Do.” She wrote this book so her two children, who are in serious relationships, didn’t repeat her mistakes.

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